A little over a month ago I began the #BooksWithFriends Challenge with my crit partner Michelle Bond–and look! I finally finished!
In my defense, I get my books from the library–and the waiting list was long… The title Michelle choose for me was SIX OF CROWS by Leigh Bardugo.
I’m going to steal a page from Michelle’s playbook and post the general description from GoodReads.com on here for you to aquatint yourself with the title–if you don’t already know it.
Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…
A convict with a thirst for revenge.
A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.
A runaway with a privileged past.
A spy known as the Wraith.
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.
Kaz’s crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.
The ambiance of this novel reminded me of THE LIES OF LOCKE LAMORA by Scott Lynch, and maybe even a little bit of THE BLADE ITSELF by Joe Abercrombie. There is a grit to these titles, just as there is grit to THE SIX OF CROWS. Now, no one likes an antihero who had a soft life. Where does the hate come from? Where is their drive for vengeance if not born from trials, tribulations, and an inherent need to survive. Okay, maybe more Locke Lamora than The Blade Itself–but the ambiance… read them all and you’ll see what I mean.
SIX OF CROWS is a longer book–running over 400 pages–but there is a lot of of world building and back story that is intergral to the plot. You need to travel those first 250 pages to float through the rest of the novel. It’s worth the work–I promise you that.
Each character presented was relatable and likable (in their own warped way.) Yes, they aren’t Mother Teresa, but you felt for them. You rooted for them. You wanted them to win.
But here is my complaint.
Above I’ve listed three books. All three of these titles are series. THE LIE OF LOCKE LAMORA is book #1 in the Gentleman’s Bastards Series. THE BLADE ITSELF is book #1 in the First Law series. SIX OF CROWS is book #1 in it’s own series as well. Book two–CROOKED KINGDOM–was released on September 27th.
Now–what they have in common are:
- great characters
- general ambiance
- epic fantasy
What they don’t–both Locke Lamora and The Blade Itself are stand alone books, and The Six of Crows is not.
I am not a fan of this. I just am not. I don’t like the feeling I’m being bullied into a series. When I arrived at the cliff hanger of an ending it immediately squashed the excitement I had for this title. I wanted a conclusion to this adventure. Does that mean that there can’t be a sequel–absolutely not. Let’s use Star Wars as an example.
I’ve come to notice this seems to be a YA thing. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe there are Adult titles out there that have open ended finales so you’ll ‘tune in next week’ for the new title–whenever that will be. Over all, I find it disappointing.
It may be my age, but I look at series like this–J.R.R. Tolkien didn’t have to do this to make me move on to the next title. Neither did J.K. Rowling.
I’m not going to say, “don’t read this book,” because I really did enjoy Bardugo’s writing style, and the world, characters, relationships, magic, etc.–but that doesn’t change the hit of disappointment lingers like a bad taste in my mouth.
I wish this trend would go away. I think we would all be better if it did.